How to contact the college or university
Are you thinking of applying to college or university? Do you have questions about access and support while studying?
It's a good idea to contact universities and colleges to discuss your requirements before applying. Most universities and colleges have disability coordinators or advisers and will put you in touch with them if you contact the university or college. The disability coordinator can tell you what support is available and help set up an information visit. This is an opportunity to talk to staff about any adaptations that may be needed. You might also want to talk to the head of department or other academic staff for specific course information.
What questions should you ask?
If you visit a college or university, it might be helpful to take with you a checklist of questions to ask members of staff and students. What you ask will obviously depend upon the nature of your disability, but the following are examples of questions you might include:
- Are all the buildings I need to use physically accessible?
- Are there any particular facilities for disabled students?
- Are there any current students with a similar impairment?
- What support do they receive?
- Who will help organise my support?
- Can you help me apply for additional funding if needed?
- Are the methods of teaching and assessment appropriate to my needs?
- What would happen if I started the course and experienced a problem?
Telling the institution about your disability
Telling the institution about your disability in advance can also help them to prepare and arrange support in time for the start of your course. If you are unsure what to tell your potential universities and colleges, you may find it helpful to read the Telling people about your disability booklet on the Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities website. Skill has now closed down but information leaflets are still available from their website here and here.
For information about financial support for students with additional needs/disabilities see the "Do you have a disability?" heading under "Finance".Back